COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster will be joining two of his primary challengers at an event later this week honoring former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, his campaign confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Republican will be attending the Patriot Dinner happening Friday at The Citadel, according to campaign manager Katie Baham. At the annual event, The Citadel Republican Society is honoring the Breitbart News chief with its Nathan Hale Patriot Award.

Two of McMaster’s challengers for the GOP nomination have already confirmed their attendance. State labor chief Catherine Templeton told AP earlier this week that she will introduce Bannon. Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant has also told AP that he’s looking forward to attending the event.

South Carolina’s Republican primary is next year. Bannon hasn’t made an endorsement in the race, but Templeton has said that they’ve stayed in touch since the Trump administration courted her for a Labor Department post.

McMaster, the first statewide elected official in the country to endorse Donald Trump’s campaign, has the president’s backing in next year’s gubernatorial primary. Last month, the president appeared at a fundraiser for McMaster in Greenville.

Since leaving the White House, Bannon has been wading into state-level politics, focusing primarily on U.S. Senate races. In Alabama, he backed a candidate who defeated Trump’s pick to fill Jeff Sessions’ old seat.


Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard